Recently I had the pleasure of catching up with an up-and-coming artist from New York, courtesy of Allan Siema (from AMEG Music). I was given a link to one of his videos and was blown away by the music and was left wanting to hear more. Having the opportunity to interview EURO League was a brilliant experience. He’s exciting young prospect with a great future ahead of him. Enjoy the article! There is a link to his work below. Please make sure to check him out!
Deep inside New York City there is a young kid going wild. And he’s only just getting started. Embedded in the underground there is an artist going by the name of Euro League who’s got the character, desire and talent destined to take him to the top. Euro League has got the prerequisites needed to send shockwaves through the world of hip-hop.
Speaking to the young rapper it is hard not to be swept away with the excitement of his project. There is energy in his voice and his passion for music shines through. A lot of up and coming rappers claim that they are diverse and unique yet Euro League really epitomises these two words in both his music and his persona. Yet it has hardly been a smooth passage through life for the youngster as he virtually spent his childhood without a mother or father. Euro’s mother suffered from a drug addiction and his father was barely ever on the scene. The onus was placed upon his grandmother, who the artist plays homage to throughout his music. In fact, the name itself, Euro League, relates to his struggles as a child and his rise above it all – Enlightenment Under Rule and Oppression. As the rapper himself says, “I felt like coming where I’m coming from through the poverty and the ghetto and to have the mind state that I have now, I feel like I was enlightened under all of the negative things that I’ve experienced in my life, and I still have a positive mind state.”
His main musical influences are Nas and Lauryn Hill, appealing to their work in the 1990’s. The artist takes inspiration from their struggles and the manner in which they can relate with the listener, trying to insert this feature into his own music. Euro League seeks to form a special bond with his audience, something stronger than just a musical connection -“The passion and the lyricism and the hunger I put in the lyrics, I know that they can feel it”. Yet Euro League does not try and imitate or impersonate his idols, in fact it is difficult to assimilate his music to anything else on the market. If the rapper was to compare himself to another mainstream artist then he says that it would be a blend between the swagger of Pusha T and the groove of Dead Prez. However, that fails to paint the true picture. As Euro League says himself in “P.O.V” from his 2011 EP Eurotrip, “Out of billions, they say I only flow like a few”. It is difficult to deny this.
The artist takes extracts from across music but allows them to merge in seamlessly to create a new and memorable sound. He is creative with his music yet the production is professional. There is experimentation but it enhances the sound and nothing feels out of place. He pays great respect to his producers who he works with intently to deliver an exclusive brand of music.
“With certain elements we take the orchestral elements and cinematic and epic type sound, with strings and piano compositions but then we’ll take hip-hop drums and we’ll take something from electronic music and do some crazy stuff with all electronic sounds and we’ll throw some R&B stuff in there – just mix everything up, really creating a new unique sound that no one has done before.”
Euro League has an unflappable motivation to recreate the industry as we know it and start a trend with his project. His enthusiasm is infectious yet his feet remain grounded. Being unsigned, without management, label or financial backing, all the work you hear is entirely off his own back and that of a few talented friends around him. To achieve success in this industry requires a great deal of perseverance, self-belief and a sprinkling of luck to not only get spotted and signed but to create a lasting legacy rather than become a one track artist. Over the next couple of months and the coming year, Euro League has set himself huge targets to spread the word and gain exposure through performances, interviews and networking pledging, “I think next year by the time I drop my next project that I will be influencing the change of the musical sound and I will be recognised from that”.
He says with confidence, “When they hear the music, it’s going to speak for itself”. I for one agree with him. But don’t just take my word for it, even Kendrick Lamar is a fan.
Euro League met K-Dot at one of his video shoots in downtown New York and had the opportunity to rap for him. Kendrick loved it so much that he got his label mate Schoolboy Q to come down and listen to the up and coming rapper spit some lyrics. “If that person can respect my music then I can definitely take over the musical industry and achieve my dreams” Euro League said as I interviewed him for ‘The Beat’ on UCL Rare FM.
For me, it was really refreshing to speak to a young guy with so much ambition and confidence. With the undeniable drive and belief in his own ability and music, the sky appears to be the limit for the local rapper from New York. If you haven’t heard any of Euro League’s music then head over to http://euroleague.bandcamp.com/album/eurotrip and immerse yourself in his self-proclaimed “audio movie”, and in particular ‘Eurotrip’. This song, as the artist admits, is a brilliant sketch of not only the project but of Euro League the man. He points out, “it gives you the message, it gives you my life experience and it also gives you the unique music sound that I want to come across as well. I have a real message to give you and I also have my own sound in doing that”.
You can follow James (@savzy007) and Euro League (@iameuroleague) on twitter.